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Joined on stage by a local councillor 150 150 mhamer

Joined on stage by a local councillor

Comedian Jimmy Cricket with sisters Katie and Rebecca who attended his show at St Joseph's Parish Centre in Heywood

Jimmy Cricket with sisters Katie and Rebecca who attended his show at St Joseph's Parish Centre in Heywood

Rochdale comedian Jimmy Cricket was joined on stage by a local councillor at a recent charity show.

The Irish funnyman was performing at St Joseph’s Centre in Heywood to help raise money for the Roman Catholic parish.

Counc Peter Rush, who represents the Heywood North ward and ran the town’s Albany Hotel on Rochdale Road East for a long time, went on stage to join Jimmy and his wife May and their good friend Eric Devereaux, a well-known singer on the North West entertainment scene.

Jimmy also had his picture taken alongside sisters Katie and Rebecca who were in the audience.

Their mum Nicola told Jimmy: “We had an amazing time on Friday night at St Joseph’s. We hope that you will come again very soon to do another show. Take care and keep entertaining.”

Teaching a fellow showbiz star to juggle 150 150 mhamer

Teaching a fellow showbiz star to juggle

Jimmy Cricket has been teaching Ray Quinn how to juggle

Jimmy Cricket has been teaching Ray Quinn how to juggle

Veteran Irish comedian Jimmy Cricket has been giving juggling lessons to actor, dancer and singer Ray Quinn.

The pair appeared in the pantomime Cinderella at the Darlington Civic Theatre which finished on Sunday 15 January.

Jimmy, who played Baron Hardup, said he enjoyed working with all the cast during the six-week showing of the panto.

“We got Cinderella to the ball!” laughed Jimmy this week.

“I have found a great friend in Ray Quinn and you can see me teaching him to juggle on YouTube.”

The juggling video can also be found on the homepage here on Jimmy’s website and on Ray’s own official site.

Jimmy added: “There must have been about 65 panto shows in all as there were often two a day. It was very intensive but thoroughly enjoyable.”

Ray Quinn, who was Prince Charming in the Darlington panto, is engaged to theatre star Emma Stephens who played Cinderella.

They first met when they starred together in Grease in London’s West End several years ago.

Former Brookside actor Ray shot to fame when he finished runner-up to Leona Lewis in the 2007 series of The X Factor and two years later he won ITV’s Dancing on Ice with professional ice skater Maria Filippov.

“Ray’s a good-looking guy. He’s got a terrific voice and dances very well too. I think he could very easily become the next Michael Bublé [Canadian singer and actor]. Ray, Emma and the rest of the cast were great working colleagues,” said Jimmy.

View a musical slideshow of Jimmy and his fellow panto stars on his YouTube channel.

Jimmy and his wife May have just moved house though they still live in Rochdale.

He explained: “We have downsized but only gone around the corner to a lovely cottage overlooking Healey Dell Nature Reserve.”

“The move means we have been offline for a while and have fallen a bit behind with our email and Facebook, but I can assure everybody that they will receive replies to their queries and orders in the next few weeks.”

Francis House says thanks 150 150 mhamer

Francis House says thanks

Pictured, from left: David Ireland from Francis House, comedian Jimmy Cricket, David Martin,executive director of the Coliseum theatre, and the show’s producer, Jim Nicholas

Pictured, from left: David Ireland from Francis House, comedian Jimmy Cricket, David Martin,executive director of the Coliseum theatre, and the show’s producer, Jim Nicholas

The organisers of a charity event at the Coliseum in Oldham earlier this year returned to say thank-you to the theatre for hosting the show which was a huge success.

Jimmy Cricket helped to raise more than £6,000 for a Manchester-based charity at the two-night extravaganza in October.

The famous Irish comedian appeared in the “Stars Come Out”, along with husband and wife comedy duo The Krankies and sixties Merseybeat band The Swinging Blue Jeans, of “You’re no Good” and the “Hippy Hippy Shake” fame. The show also featured the Dobcross Youth Band.

An extra night was added after the originally-planned one-day performance was sold out.

The money from the shows went to Francis House Children’s Hospice, which is based at Didsbury in Manchester. The Hospice cares for children and young adults with life-threatening conditions and provides a home from home where families can receive professional care, support and friendship.

The charity’s director, David Ireland, also participated in the recent thank-you visit, along with Jimmy Cricket who said: “The show was a resounding success and raised buckets-full of cash for the charity.

“This was the fourth edition of the show and it continues to be really well-supported. The money raised will enable the Francis House Children’s Hospice to be able to continue the important work they do of caring for the region’s very sick children.”

“I hope the show can return for number five in the spring of 2013!”

Meet the Wooden Hut Club 150 150 mhamer

Meet the Wooden Hut Club

Members of the Wooden Hut Club

Members of the Wooden Hut Club

November saw the latest gathering of the informal showbiz fraternity group that Jimmy Cricket attends, which is lovingly called the “Wooden Hut Club”.

Conveniently for Jimmy, the location where this get-together takes place is in Rochdale. It was felt Rochdale was well placed on the M62 between Manchester/Cheshire and Yorkshire for his showbiz pals to get to. After the first ‘do’ was successfully held at the Royal Toby Hotel restaurant on Manchester Road in Castleton, the club have met there ever since.

This gathering has been meeting on and off for last four years and, as you can see from the photo, there was a large number who attended the last lunch showing it is well supported. This is probably because it is a rare chance for showbiz professionals to come together and catch up with the industry news – and of course reminisce about old times.

Some of the individuals in the photo with Jimmy are: Buzz Hawkins from ‘The Bradshaws’, ‘The Comedians’ producer Johnnie Hamp, impressionist Johnny More, BBC radio producer Steve Garner, comedy script writer Phil Collinge, the wife of former BBC radio comedy producer Mike Craig, Treflyn Jones from Target television and entertainer Eric Devereaux.

Jimmy’s friend Patti Gold celebrates 60th birthday 150 150 mhamer

Jimmy’s friend Patti Gold celebrates 60th birthday

Jimmy, his wife May (right) and good friend Patti

Jimmy, his wife May (right) and good friend Patti

Jimmy Cricket recently attended the 60th birthday of a good friend of his, the former singer Patti Gold.

The bash was hosted at Patti’s local golf club in Wakefield called Higher Lane Golf Club.

Patti and Jimmy go back a long way and although Patti has now left the business, her husband is still heavily involved and is an excellent musical director called Stuart Gold, who used to be the main musical director at the legendary Batley Variety Club and has worked with some of the most famous singers and entertainers in the country.

Patti actually featured in Jimmy’s first television series on ITV of “And There’s More” way back in the mid 1980s as one of the supporting cast members. Alongside Patti was impressionist Rory Bremmer. This was Rory’s first break on television before he launched himself on a bigger platform.

Jimmy said: “I really enjoyed myself at Patti’s party and am thrilled I have been able to keep in touch with her for all these years.

“Although Patti left the business a number of years ago to work in IT, interestingly enough she has recently taken a job working in a dance and drama school, so she is re-introducing herself slowly back into the world of arts and entertainment!”

Viva la Espana! 150 150 mhamer

Viva la Espana!

Jimmy with Mike and Val Sheehy

Jimmy with Mike and Val Sheehy

Famous Irish comic Jimmy Cricket appeared at a civic hall in the town of Moraira near Alicante in South East Spain.

The visit was arranged by Mike and Val Sheehy who are local entrepreneurs in the town and also promote visiting entertainers.

They used to run the Le Cabaret venue in the town, but are now concentrating all their efforts around establishing a local ‘sold gold’ 60s radio station for the local ex-pat community. This allows them to also present shows at this local civic hall – and Jimmy was one of the visiting guests.

He stayed in a lovely apartment owned by Mike and Val and enjoyed the two nights he appeared at the theatre in Moraira. Although Jimmy was the headline performer, the show also featured his wife, May Marion, and Mike himself doing a bit of crooning – he is a good performer in his own right.

Jimmy hopes to go back to the town some time in 2012.

Jimmy goes into panto mode 150 150 mhamer

Jimmy goes into panto mode

Jimmy is appearing in Cinderella in Darlington

Jimmy Cricket has begun rehearsing for his latest pantomime appearance.

The legendary comic is starring as Baron Hardup in Cinderella at Darlington Civic Theatre which runs from Saturday 3 December until Sunday 15 January 2012.

Dancing on Ice and X Factor star Ray Quinn (Prince Charming), Emmerdale’s Deena Payne (Fairy Godmother) and Grease musical actress Emma Stephens (Cinderella) are also appearing in the festive spectacular.

Performances are as follows: Matinees 2pm, evenings 7pm except Sundays, Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve when evening performances will begin at 5.30pm. Prices are £13.50, £19 and £21, with discounts available at some performances.

Jimmy last appeared in the Darlingon theatre’s pantomime 21 years ago when it was also a version of Cinderella. Back in 1990 he played the role of Buttons.

The panto means it will be a very busy time of the year for Jimmy who said: “I am back home at the weekend and when we’re up and running with the actual show, I have every Sunday night and all day Monday off. Not to mention Crimble and New Year’s day!”

Find out more details here